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PBS Suspends TV Host Tavis Smiley for ‘Troubling Allegations’


FILE - Tavis Smiley appears at the 33rd annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Los Angeles, April 27, 2017. PBS has suspended distribution of Smiley’s talk show after an independent investigation uncovered “multiple, credible allegations” of misconduct by its host.

PBS television suspended broadcasts of Tavis Smiley’s late-night talk show because of what it calls “troubling allegations” against him.

“The inquiry uncovered multiple credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS,” a network statement said late Wednesday.

PBS did not specify the complaints against Smiley.

But the show business newspaper Variety says they include alleged sexual relations between Smiley and a number of female employees who say they believed their jobs depended on whether they had sex with him.

Variety says others described Smiley as verbally abusive and that he created a threatening work environment.

The host has not yet commented on the allegations.

Smiley’s Los Angeles-based interview series began in 2004 and airs on a number of public television stations.

FILE - Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally, Dec. 5, 2017, in Fairhope Ala.
FILE - Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally, Dec. 5, 2017, in Fairhope Ala.

He is the latest of a number of well-known celebrities who have been fired or suspended from their jobs because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s loss in Tuesday’s special election to the U.S. Senate is believed to be in part because of charges that he dated and sexually molested teenage girls in the 1970s.

Two Democratic members of Congress, Senator Al Franken and Representative John Conyers, resigned last week over such charges.

A number of women have renewed charges first made last year that President Donald Trump sexually harassed them in the 1970s, leading to calls from some in Congress for an investigation or that he resign.

Sexual misconduct charges cost television hosts Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose their jobs, and actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis C.K. have also been accused of inappropriate behavior.

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